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Breaking: US health agency says humans can infect their pets with coronavirus

Ginger cat sneezing close up dog-cat-serious
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings come after two cats living with owners who suffered with Covid-19 tested positive for coronavirus.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 09/06/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:27


The CDC stresses that Covid-19 cannot be passed from animal to human, but in some cases the transmission may be contrary.

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Animals do not suffer with Covid-19 – the human strain of coronavirus – but they can often contract a form of coronavirus.

In March of this year a cat from Nassau County, New York tested positive for the virus. A week later a cat from Orange County also tested positive.

The cat from Nassau lived with five people, three of whom exhibited symptoms of the virus but were not tested. The cat from Orange County lived with a single owner who tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks prior.

Rare occurrence

Caution should be applied to the findings however. Scientists in other parts of the world have, since the start of the outbreak, stressed the unlikelihood of human to animal transmission in either direction.

The World Health Organisation says: “While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19.”

These instances of cross-contamination from human to pet are also incredibly rare. There are an estimated 95 million domestic cats in the US.